The Killer Book of Cold Cases

The Killer Book of Cold Cases by Tom Philbin

Book: The Killer Book of Cold Cases by Tom Philbin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tom Philbin
about 1,000 sex offenders. Dr. Balyk treated both rapists and pedophiles. When I protested that 0 percent seemed an inaccurate answer because of the many psychological treatments available, he said:
    “Let me ask you a question.”
    “Do you like women?”
    “Do you think you’ll ever stop liking them?”
    “That’s the same answer pedophiles would give. Except they like kids.”
    Q. Are pedophiles repeat offenders?
    A. Statistics back Dr. Balyk’s statement. About 4,300 pedophiles were discharged in 1994 from prisons in fifteen states. Approximately 3.3 percent became repeat offenders soon after release, but over time the incidence becomes much higher because pedophilia is a condition that cannot be curtailed by treatment nor cured. The degree of compulsion was confirmed by an ex-inmate and lawyer who Dr. Balyk met by chance on a street in a New Jersey town. The dialogue went like this:
    Dr. Balyk: “So how are you doing?”
    Lawyer: “Okay. Getting ready to go back inside.”
    Dr. Balyk: “But you just got out.”
    Lawyer: “I know but I can’t stop myself. And eventually I’ll get caught.”
    A few months later, Balyk said, “that is exactly what happened.”

On September 6 and October 6, 2001, one of the scariest assaults on the United States occurred. Five envelopes—some with false return addresses and some containing semiliterate notes praising Allah—were completely or partially filled with
Bacillus anthracis
and mailed to various individuals and places. Two envelopes went to Senators Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle in Washington, D.C. One went to the
New York Post
, one to newsman Tom Brokaw of NBC, and the fifth to the Boca Raton, Florida, office of American Media, Inc., or AMI, publisher of the
National Enquirer
TV Guide
, and other magazines.
    Some people contracted anthrax through the skin by handling the envelopes, and others contracted it through the most deadly transmission method by inhaling it. Five people were killed as a result. Seventeen more were made ill, and thirtyone others tested positive for the anthrax spores. Since the envelopes had passed through postal facilities, the FBI was on the case from the start. Agents calculated that 10,000 additional people were at risk of getting sick or dying.
    The FBI immediately formed a task force with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to handle the investigation, code-named Amerithrax.
    The first step was identifying the type of anthrax used in the attack, which was found to be the Ames strain. Only experts can work with anthrax without it making them sick (or worse), and different experts work with different strains. The task force also discovered that anthrax from the Ames strain had been housed and maintained by scientists at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID, which works on biological warfare defense. These facts helped investigators narrow down the number of suspects.
Not a Slam Dunk
    Despite that quick winnowing, the investigation would hardly be a slam dunk. Overall, the task force took seven years and expended more than 600,000 investigative hours before identifying someone to bring to justice.
    Meanwhile, the investigation had a Damocles sword hanging over it. The sender of the anthrax was technically a mass murderer (defined as someone who murders a lot of people all at once) and exposing as many people as he did within the postal system showed him to be a psychopath. Investigators knew that if he (or she) sent more anthrax, thousands of additional people would be at risk.
    One of the main tasks in the early days of the investigation was to determine where the anthrax came from. Had it all been sent by one individual? Stolen by a terrorist group or state government? Or perhaps been sent by a business that would somehow profit?
Persons of Interest
    The FBI isolated a number of people that they characterized as “persons of

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